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Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo El Martillo

16 Jun 2014

With José Blanco’s CyB and the forthcoming Joya Red, the focus of Joya de Nicaragua of late has been on cigars with more balance and less power. But the oldest cigar maker in Nicaragua built its reputation on bold, full-bodied blends, and those blends are still the cornerstone of the Joya de Nicaragua portfolio.

Dark CorojoAntaño Dark Corojo is the line that first comes to mind when I think of Joya de Nicaragua. It was the first Joya I ever smoked and, for a while, it shaped my notion of what a Nicaraguan cigar should be. When I was just getting into cigars, I remember having a Joya on my lunch break after a light meal. I was not terribly productive for the rest of the afternoon.

These days I know better. I tend to save my Dark Corojos for the evenings, usually after a large meal and paired with a sipping rum. For me, this is the best way to enjoy what Joya calls “the embodiment of the Nicaraguan power cigar.”

The Antaño Dark Corojo is a Nicaragua puro with a mottled, oily Corojo Oscuro wrapper. It comes in six sizes: Azarosa (4.5 x 52), La Pesadilla (4.75 x 60), Peligroso (5 x 44), El Martillo (5.5 x 54), La Niveladora (6 x 52), and Poderoso (6 x 54). I smoked several in the El Martillo format for this review.

After removing the foot band, I take note of pre-light aromas of raisin, cocoa, and caramel before lighting up the cigar with a couple wooden matches. The initial flavor is heavy-handed with spice, espresso, and dark chocolate. The texture is thick and leathery. Smoking through the nose helps reveal some raisin, charred steak, and black cherry.

Make no bones about it, this is a very full-bodied cigar. At times, El Martillo’s complementary sweetness makes it seem less aggressive. But the power is sure to eventually sneak up on you—especially when you stand up after having been seated for a while.

Throughout the experience, the El Martillo’s physical properties are good, including a straight burn, a solid white ash that holds very firm off the foot, and good smoke production. My only complaint is the draw, which is too tight for my liking. Perhaps of late I’ve been smoking too many loose-drawing cigars from Drew Estate.

If you’re looking for a full-bodied cleanup hitter with ample power that won’t break the bank, look no further. The Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo El Martillo has all the flavor and boldness you could ask for, and it runs about $8 for a single. I always keep some on hand, and I award it three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

One Response to “Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo El Martillo”

  1. Anders Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Agreed. This is my go-to when I need a punch in the gut after a huge meal. Used to be the 601 Green, but I like this Dark Corojo better now.